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Old 03-16-2020   #1
cookiefonster
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Default Thoughts on (most of) the main campaign non-record emblems

Spoiler: Greenflower Zone Act 1
Star - Not much needs to be said about this emblem. It makes sense that the first level of the game has an emblem right in plain sight that you can immediately go ahead and grab, because it effectively teaches first-time players that emblems are a thing that exists.

Spade - A simple challenge that teaches players the importance of exploring every nook and cranny of levels to find emblems. Most of this level's emblems are like this.

Heart - This one does a good job teaching the player that if they want to find all the emblems, they will need to get to know all the different playable characters. Anyone familiar with the classic Sonic games who sees this emblem will probably be able to tell on their own that if they aren't playing as Tails, they'll need to switch to playing as him to collect the emblem.

Diamond - A simple challenge similar to the spade one, but quite a bit easier to encounter by accident.

Club - Another simple exploration-based challenge, this time one that teaches players to keep an eye out for any parts of the level that look unusual or different from the rest, in this case breakable walls.

Spoiler: Greenflower Zone Act 2
Star - While GFZ1's emblems are all quite easy to find, GFZ2 ups the exploration ante a LOT and teaches new aspects of emblem hunting. I don't remember finding this emblem, though it was definitely before I unlocked emblem hints, which means that I must have found it through exploring the level not long after I first found out emblems were spread throughout each stage.

Spade - The emblem hint is simple, but getting in the room with the emblem is quite a challenge. I did it by finding speed shoes nearby and spin dashing from there, though from watching a video apparently it's also possible simply by charging the spin dash long enough.

Heart - This is quite a tricky one. I found it shortly after the diamond one after unlocking the emblem radar, where I stumbled around via the radar's guidance and figured out that you had to play as Amy to get the heart one. It's kind of a complicated maze to get there, but the pink room with the emblem is cute and very rewarding.

Diamond - Honestly, the hint for this emblem was rather misleading, specifically the words "large pillar". When I first read the hint, I pictured a giant bridge out in the open with a giant pillar underneath that had a secret area only Knuckles could enter with his special wall breaking abilities, not a tiny Knuckles-exclusive room I had encountered plenty before that had a bridge inside and an emblem behind somewhere you wouldn't expect to look. I stumbled around looking for this emblem (and following that, the heart one) with the radar's help and when I finally found the emblem, I realized I had been looking in the wrong place for way too long.

Club - An emblem that you'll need to find through exploration not unlike the GFZ1 diamond one, but much better hidden. A fitting emblem to have in this zone's much more expansive and secret-filled second act.

Spoiler: Techno Hill Zone Act 1
Star - This one was pretty easy. Found it before I unlocked the emblem hints simply by exploring the heights of the level.

Spade - I was really worried for quite a while that Techno Hill Zone would have emblems that I'd have to go underneath the slime to find (I hadn't yet figured out that I could use the elemental shield to efficiently dive deep into the slime). When I unlocked the emblem hints, I was relieved that only one emblem in this act required you to do that, but I eventually found out that collecting this emblem required you to dive to the absolute extreme bottom from an absolute extreme height and took an embarrassing amount of tries to finally catch that emblem. I suppose I can't complain too much, because none of the other THZ emblems are buried under slime, but still this was a pretty painful one that I guess is good for teaching players to master the power of the elemental shield in THZ? It's the only zone where I find much use in that shield's speed fall ability.

Heart - This is a cool emblem that teaches players to go through areas as characters you wouldn't expect to, as the hint gives away.

Diamond - Similar deal to the GFZ2 spade emblem, but far easier to get. Found it pretty quickly with a bit of exploration as Tails, no need for emblem hints.

Club - Very clever emblem that's sort of the inverse of the heart emblem; instead of accessing Knuckles' path as Tails, you access everyone else's path as Knuckles and use his abilities to find the emblem. It took me way too long to realize what the hint meant, but once I realized it, it was a huge eureka moment.

Spoiler: Techno Hill Zone Act 2
Star - Another emblem that I don't remember finding, other than that it was probably before I unlocked the hints. This one combines two useful general tips for finding emblems: backtracking and finding suspicious-looking parts of walls.

Spade - I'm a pretty big fan of emblems that are easy to see, but require you to use your brain to access the area where they're found. It took me way longer to find the way to this emblem than it probably should have, but it was very rewarding when I finally found it.

Heart - I'm not a big fan of emblems that require you to first press a button and then enter a room, especially if the emblem hint is dedicated entirely to the location of the button. This one isn't so bad, especially when you figure out the power of the elemental shield in getting through Techno Hill slime, but a lot of others are way worse *coughDeepSeacough*.

Diamond - This is an incredibly clever emblem! It requires you to backtrack in a place it probably won't occur for most players to backtrack. It's right above you when you jump out of that one hole, but there's no way you'll notice unless either you (1) have the radar handy, (2) are a clever backtracker, or (3) somehow encountered it by accident anyway for reasons you completely forgot. I'm the third case and I specifically remember collecting this emblem as Fang for whatever reason.

Club - The area with six springing turtles is one that you'll likely only see with a bit of exploration, which I quite appreciate. I admit, I got this emblem by flying up there as Tails instead of springing on the turtles.

Spoiler: Deep Sea Zone Act 1
Star - For a long time I knew which room it was in and had figured out that only Amy can access the area with the emblem, but I admittedly looked up a walkthrough on YouTube to figure out how to get to that area as Amy instead of Tails or Knuckles. I probably could have gotten to that area as her by myself with a bit more patience, but it's still somewhat counterintuitive to get there.

Spade - While I'm not a fan of any of DSZ1's emblems, this one is definitely the most tolerable to me. It's the only one I got in this zone before I unlocked the emblem radar, and for a long time the only one in this zone I got at all. I'd still be hard-pressed to say I like this emblem; it took me a lot of trial and error to figure out which falls the hints were talking about, because this zone has lots of small waterfall areas that kind of all look the same.

Heart - Requires you to know the level's paths through and through plus how to get through them all and back without drowning or getting prematurely crushed. DSZ1's emblems feel way too hard compared to the rest, almost like they're meant to be a second set of emblems that are harder to find than the first set. At least once you have opened all three doors, the emblem is right in front of your eyes, rather than having to do any additional exploration unlike the next two emblems:

Diamond - I'm not a fan of pressing a button in a zone and having no clue what door I just opened, and I really don't like that two of this zone's five non-record emblems (almost half!) are based on exactly that. This one isn't too bad because the door is near the end of the level and the button isn't far from the end either, but the next one...

Club - Perhaps my least favorite emblem in the entire game (that I've unlocked, at least). The purple button was easy enough to find through the emblem hints, but because the emblem hint was dedicated entirely to explaining where the button is, the only way I could find the emblem after pressing the button was by wandering around the level until the radar pointed me in the right direction. The purple button is somewhere totally different from the door that it opens, making this a very frustrating emblem that wasn't all that rewarding to finally unlock because all I did was wander around the zone following the radar.

Spoiler: Deep Sea Zone Act 2
Star - This is a cool emblem that requires some tricky platforming as either Amy or Fang one of their shared breakable floor alternate paths. I definitely found this one before I unlocked the emblem hints.

!!! Spade - An emblem preceded by a !!! means I haven't found it yet, so take any criticism with a grain of salt. I can't say anything about this emblem other than that it probably involves some fairly annoying exploration.

Heart - A decently tricky exploration-based emblem not unlike the THZ2 spade in terms of how to get it, except the emblem itself isn't easily visible, only the room it's found in. Not a huge setback once you've unlocked the radar though. Kind of weird that though I generally like Act 1 of Deep Sea a lot more than Act 2, I think the second act's emblems are far better placed.

Diamond - A simple but effective backtracking-based emblem whose biggest challenge for me was remembering what "spinning wheel" referred to.

Club - This is a well-hidden emblem that's incredibly rewarding to find. I never would have guessed that one crushing room had a secret area above the crushers where an emblem was found until I put two and two together and found this emblem!

Spoiler: Castle Eggman Zone Act 1
Star - A simple exploration-based emblem that rewards you for going to places you can only access as Tails or Knuckles.

Spade - I had seen this emblem before unlocking the hints and struggled to find a way in there for quite a while, until the emblem hints gave away the answer. A rewarding emblem to unlock either way, because it does take a bit of thinking to realize that the tower you enter before the zone's music fades out is the one where this emblem lies down below.

Heart - Found this one with the radar. Definitely didn't expect it to be towards the end of the level but once I realized that, it wasn't hard to find.

Diamond - This is an incredibly clever emblem, the kind that I absolutely love due to how well it's hidden but obvious in retrospect. Finding this one requires you to truly master the skill of backtracking without needing any special character abilities.

Club - I found this one simply by doing moderate amounts of exploration in the level. Wasn't too difficult but the emblem hint helped a lot.

Spoiler: Castle Eggman Zone Act 2
Star - This is an interesting case of an emblem where I just knew there was something up there that I couldn't reach but very quickly collected it when I played this level for the first time as Amy. Though she isn't the only character you can collect this emblem as, finding it is most straightforward as her with her spring hammer ability.

!!! Spade - Haven't found this one yet. Guess I just have to keep searching.

Heart - If memory serves me, I found this one by accident gliding from a launcher as Knuckles. I suppose this emblem served as a good reward for realizing how exploitable the launchers are when you're playing as him.

Diamond - Though finding this emblem is a good challenge that requires you to push Tails' flying to its absolute limits, I find it very weird that this end-of-level emblem is in a level as rich and detailed as CEZ2. I am an enormous fan of the exploration that this zone invites and I think it's weird that one of its five exploration emblems is just all the way up there in the level's ending room.

Club - As with the first act's club emblem, this one required only a moderate amount of exploration guided by the hints. Sometimes when playing this level I encounter this emblem by accident. Overall, I feel CEZ2's emblems could afford to be just a bit more sneakily hidden for such a gloriously complex level.

Spoiler: Arid Canyon Zone Act 1
Star - I feel like this zone's emblems are strongly biased towards Tails, because all but one of them are located far up or behind in the level's open areas in remote places you wouldn't think to go. It's not a terrible method of hiding emblems, but definitely not as cool as those emblems that require you to take cleverly hidden alternate paths that you can do as whichever character you want. This emblem's hint outright tells you that you need to fly around until you find it, which is fine in itself but feels repetitive next to the rest of this zone's emblems.

Spade - Similar to star, hidden all the way behind an area you wouldn't think to stop and explore in.

Heart - This emblem's hint basically tells you it's not far from the end of the level, so actually finding it requires exploration more thorough than one may think. It's pretty much located all the way behind an area you'll probably reach shortly before the final rope section, which is a pretty cool place to hide an emblem if you ask me (EDIT: but, again, kind of repetitive knowing this level's other emblems).

Diamond - A crack in the cliff is a simple but really cool place to hide an emblem, making this one of the better ACZ1 "fly around until you find it" emblems. Wasn't hard for me to find just through reading the hints.

Club - This is a weird emblem that doesn't require an insane amount of exploration, but does require you to go on an unusual path you wouldn't expect to perhaps due to the level's depth and temptation to skip vast portions as Tails or Knuckles. Not my favorite emblem, but definitely unique among the other emblems in this act in a good way.

Spoiler: Arid Canyon Zone Act 2
Star - This is another one of those cool emblems that's easy to see, but out of your reach unless you go somewhere you wouldn't expect to. In this case, you need to know the level well enough to be able to go to the minecart area without being inside the cart, which makes this emblem very rewarding to collect.

Spade - This is one of two emblems whose location I found by exploring the level as Tails with the radar handy, then realized I had to play as Fang to collect it which is great because I love playing as Fang (though I could have also done it as Amy, actually).

Heart - An interesting take on the concept of emblems that you can see right away if you explore a little bit, but you need to think creatively to figure out where to go to get it. I struggled to find this emblem, not seeing any X's marking the spot out in the open, until I decided to look under a bridge and climb a wall covered in wooden planks shaped like X's until I found the emblem, which felt very rewarding. I think the hint for this emblem is misleading in a clever way.

Diamond - This one's hint outright tells you that you'll need to play as Fang to find this emblem; it's the second one that I first found as Tails, then collected by smashing the floor as Fang.

Club - This one is similar to the star emblem, but with the hint phrased in a more obtuse way. In both cases, I like emblems where you have to go back and explore part of the level a different way from how you first got there.

Spoiler: Red Volcano Zone Act 1
Star - I found this emblem without emblem hints or the radar, and this was a very clever one! It's definitely one of my favorite emblems found near the end of the level, because it requires you to carefully explore the ending area until you find something odd that obviously isn't there for no reason.

Spade - This is a tough one hidden in a tight area that I only found by carefully exploring the collapsing platform areas as Tails while following the radar.

Heart - Really cool emblem that again requires you to go back to areas you wouldn't expect to, made trickier by this level's lava gimmicks.

!!! Diamond - Haven't found yet. I think the gold key is supposed to refer to the reusable whirlwind shield item box, but I have no idea how that could possibly be involved in getting an emblem. Maybe it's actually a different reusable item box?

!!! Club - Again haven't found. I guess I still have to explore the level for all the rideable rocks and all the places you could possibly bring the rocks.

Spoiler: Egg Rock Zone Act 1
Star - After all the tricky emblems in the prior zones, the ERZ1 emblems are rather underwhelmingly easy to find. I'm guessing this is because Egg Rock is currently dated compared to the rest of the zones has an upcoming remake with slopes and all the other fancy v2.2 style level design. I found most of this zone's emblems simply exploring the level as Tails, without needing much of the hints or radar.

Spade - Similar deal to the star one. Requires you to go out of your way in one of the zone's areas, but nowhere near as tricky as some of the prior zones' emblems.

Heart - This is the only emblem in ERZ1 that I think is at a good level of difficulty to find; you need to explore quite a bit around the crusher area as Tails, more so than the hint would imply, and the emblem is found in a little room together with some other goodies.

Diamond - A rather disappointingly easy emblem to find. If you're going through the conveyor belt room for the first time and don't know the correct way to get through it, you'll probably find this one entirely by accident. When I collected this emblem, it felt strange that I found it without even looking for any emblems.

Club - This one's hint outright tells you to backtrack, which is cool but again feels too easy for Egg Rock.

Spoiler: Egg Rock Zone Act 2
Star - I find the ERZ2 emblems somewhat more up to snuff with the rest of the game than the prior act's, but I'm still looking forward to what this level's remake will offer. This one requires the usual exploration in a somewhat more expansive way than most of the prior act's emblems.

Spade - A decently tricky emblem that requires you to make good use of the level's gimmicks and go to an area you wouldn't expect to.

Heart - Haven't found it yet. I don't imagine this one is particularly difficult. EDIT: I was right. Definitely feels too easy for Egg Rock.

Diamond - Hidden in a simple but rather clever place, again forces you to take advantage of the level's gimmicks.

Club - This one was pretty easy and only required one or two platforming moves if I remember correctly. As I said, I'm looking forward to how this zone's emblems will change when its remake is released.

Last edited by cookiefonster; 03-26-2020 at 12:50 PM. Reason: dsz2 heart, erz2 heart, rest of acz1, acz2, dsz1
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Old 03-16-2020   #2
Unknownlight
 
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This thread is ten thousand times more detailed than my own, but I might as well link my old thread about 2.2's emblems.
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Old 03-17-2020   #3
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I've been emblem hunting and will echo both sentiments above.

I think there just needs to be more mid-level collectible things to find to reward exploration. There are sooooo many nooks and crannies to explore, and it's surprising how many areas off any given beaten path are just empty, or the reward is a one-up box which doesn't feel as exciting as an emblem or token.

I just went through Deep Sea and Arid Canyon as Tails specifically looking and found maybe two more than I had before. There's a lot of ceiling space that only Tails or Knuckles can reach that feels like it should have... something. Unknownlight's linked post gives a better BOTW analogy but even just more korok seed type pointless things would be fine.

No reason to remove anything with the emerald tokens and emblems, I think it just needs another layering of collectible to reward exploration. It's fun to find stuff, whatever the stuff is doesn't matter quite as much. BOTW is obviously the prime example of finding all kinds of ways to reward the player's curiosity in almost any part of the map, but that general idea I think is worth considering more for SRB2 because the maps are so fun to spend time in.
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Old 03-17-2020   #4
cookiefonster
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Originally Posted by Moose the Fat Cat View Post
I've been emblem hunting and will echo both sentiments above.

I think there just needs to be more mid-level collectible things to find to reward exploration. There are sooooo many nooks and crannies to explore, and it's surprising how many areas off any given beaten path are just empty, or the reward is a one-up box which doesn't feel as exciting as an emblem or token.

I just went through Deep Sea and Arid Canyon as Tails specifically looking and found maybe two more than I had before. There's a lot of ceiling space that only Tails or Knuckles can reach that feels like it should have... something. Unknownlight's linked post gives a better BOTW analogy but even just more korok seed type pointless things would be fine.

No reason to remove anything with the emerald tokens and emblems, I think it just needs another layering of collectible to reward exploration. It's fun to find stuff, whatever the stuff is doesn't matter quite as much. BOTW is obviously the prime example of finding all kinds of ways to reward the player's curiosity in almost any part of the map, but that general idea I think is worth considering more for SRB2 because the maps are so fun to spend time in.
Shields are a decent reward for exploration that a large portion of the hidden areas are home to, especially ones you don't see often in the level you're in. Though I certainly wouldn't mind additional content that rewards you for exploring, I don't think the game is really lacking in exploration incentive at the moment.
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Old 03-18-2020   #5
Moose the Fat Cat
 
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Originally Posted by cookiefonster View Post
Shields are a decent reward for exploration that a large portion of the hidden areas are home to, especially ones you don't see often in the level you're in. Though I certainly wouldn't mind additional content that rewards you for exploring, I don't think the game is really lacking in exploration incentive at the moment.
I agree! To be clear, I don't think it's necessarily lacking, just that you can't really go wrong (to a point) rewarding the player for interacting with the level in any way that's possible.

Exploration is it's own reward, and being able to traverse the map in a variety of different playstyles even with the same character, is a process that's rewarding on it's own. To find emblems, tokens, shields, 1ups, ring boxes, not to mention the many unlockables, any content really, is satisfying!

Just IMO there's room for another mid-tier collectible incentive to add replay value. It could just be, like, doubling the amount of emerald tokens or emblems and scattering them about. Could be the red star tokens from modern Sonic. It could also be adding a "kill count" (rescue count) to the status menu, to incentivize a play-through of destroying each badnik / freeing every animal.

It sort of doesn't matter what it is, it just needs to be a bright object with a jingly chime sound, lol. A small token of "hey, this part of the map exists and isn't necessary to find to complete the stage, but you're here anyway. Have a jingly chime, friend. Keep going."

SRB2 is quite punishing to the player, and leveling up your skill to conquer challenging sections can be very rewarding. But that also takes awhile!

Basically:
More rewards = more fun, though can be frustrating if it's too intrusive.

More punishing = more frustration, but also more deeply rewarding once you level up your skill to conquer the punishing sections.
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Old 03-19-2020   #6
cookiefonster
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Originally Posted by Unknownlight View Post
This thread is ten thousand times more detailed than my own, but I might as well link my old thread about 2.2's emblems.
Having now collected all the emblems in both acts of Arid Canyon Zone, I can really see what you mean by good and bad emblems. ACZ1 just has too many emblems where all you have to do is fly or climb somewhere in the middle of nowhere, while ACZ2 handles emblems significantly better with cool challenges and puzzles.
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